Warszawa, February 5, 2010
Fédération Internationale de Football Association
Président Joseph S. Blatter
P.O. Box 8044 Zurich
Dear Mr President,
The sport competitions organised by UEFA and FIFA are accompanied by the idea of spreading the culture of peace among the nations deriving from the Greek Olympics. A beautiful testimony of cultivating this idea is the possibility of organising huge sport events offered to the less economically developed countries, thus allowing them to make up the cultural and civilisation set backs. Such a chance has been given to Ukraine which was commenced to co-organise the European Football Championship EURO 2012.
Unfortunately, the political power in this country is exercised by the parties which are not interested in developing the processes of democratisation and bringing their own country closer to the European family but cultivating the traditions of chauvinism and fascism.
A clear proof of professing these traditions is the fact of granting the title of National Hero by Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko to the international terrorist and radical nationalist – Stepan Bandera on January 20, 2010 and also issuing the act glorifying the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists and Ukrainian Insurgent Army as organisation fighting for freedom of Ukraine. Stepan Bandera was a leader of chauvinistic organisation OUN-UIA. Ten Commandments of the Ukrainian Nationalists, which all members of the Organisation were expected to adhere to stated “Do not hesitate to carry out the most dangerous deeds”. Following this code the organization in the 1930s carried out the terrorist activities against the numerous institutions and political assassinations of people who aimed at Polish-Ukrainian understanding (namely Tadeusz Hołówka, Ivan Babij, Sydor Twerdochlib). On November 20, 1935 Bandera organized a plot to assassinate the minister of internal affairs Bronisław Pieracki on which count he was found guilty and sentenced to death, then commuted to life imprisonment. Bandera collaborated with Hitler what resulted in formation of “Nachtigall” and “Roland” Battalions. The members of the organisation he was in charge of made up the Ukrainian troops of SS-Galizien.
After the Germans entered Lviv, Bandera announced the Act of Proclamation of Ukrainian Statehood. As one of the leaders of the Ukrainian state functioning for twelve days he is responsible for the mass extermination of Jews in Lviv.
Bandera also carries moral and political responsibility for violent manslaughter crimes committed with enormous cruelty by the OUN-UIA paramilitary units. The number of their victims exceeded 200 000 people of Polish, Czech, Armenian and Jewish nationality including elderly people, children and women. The troops committed one of the most cruel homicide crime in the history of modern Europe. They not only murdered the civilians, but wanted their victims to go through enormous suffering. Cutting tongues, opening the bellies of pregnant women, killing children with wooden fence perches were the typical methods of the executioners.
The Ukrainian authorities including the former President Viktor Yushchenko and the Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko have been glorifying for years the organization of OUN-UIA and its leaders, as well as the Ukrainian troops of SS and Wehrmacht. The symbols of fascism and the chauvinistic slogans appear officially on the streets of Ukrainian towns. The international community is becoming more and more concerned with the development and advancement of the fascist ideology in Ukraine. The significance of it can be found in the United Nations resolution dated December 18, 2009 condemning the crimes of OUN-UIA and warning Ukraine against further glorification of its leaders. Poland did not support the resolution to hide the uncomfortable truth about the situation in Ukraine.
There is a justified anxiety that the European Football Championship in Ukraine will become the first sport event, since the remarkable Berlin Olympic Games in 1936, taking place in the shadows of swastikas. It cannot be allowed to happen.
We are requesting your organization , Mr. President to:
1. Definitely condemn the phenomenon of chauvinist and neo-fascist ideology revival.
2. Support the Ukrainian social movements which oppose the propagation of this ideology.
3. Demand from the newly elected President of Ukraine the abolishment of the acts glorifying OUN-UIA and its leaders issued by Victor Yushchenko and draw the attention of the Ukrainian authorities to the fact that the development of nationalistic ideology is contradictory to the UEFA mission.
4. Undertake the measures aimed at increasing the safety of spectators visiting Ukraine in 2012 in the framework of fighting racism and xenophobia in football across Europe programme.
5. Reconsider the justification of organizing EURO 2012 in Lviv whose community especially favouring the chauvinistic and neo-fascist ideology takes more care in erecting the monument devoted to the memory of OUN-UIA than in developing the infrastructure indispensable for EURO 2012. It is possible that a different municipality in Ukraine deserves the privilege to organize EURO 2012.
Mr. President, we are requesting you to make every effort to make the laudable ideas which underlie the sport events organized by UEFA and FIFA not to be discredited by the heirs of the fascist ideology.
With best regards
For the signatories
Płk Jan Niewiński, obrońca wsi Rybcza na Wołyniu
Ewa Siemaszko, badacz ludobójstwa na Wołyniu
Jan Skalski, Światowy Kongres Kresowian
Dr hab. Leszek Jazownik, prof. Uniwersytetu Zielogórskiego
Dr hab.. Bogusław Paż, Uniwersytet Wrocławski
Dr Lucyna Kulińska, historyk, politolog
Henryk Bajewicz, Stowarzyszenie Kresowe „Podkamień”
Wojciech Orłowski, Stowarzyszenie Kresowe „Huta Pieniacka”
Ks. Tadeusz Isakowicz-Zaleski, duszpasterz Ormian w Polsce południowej
Sulimir Żuk, świadek ludobójstwa dokonanego przez UPA w Hucie Pieniackiej
Radosława Ogonowska, Gdynia
The same letter was sent to:
Union des Associations Européennes de Football
Président Michel Platini
Route de Genève 46, Case postale, CH-1260 Nyon 2, Suisse